Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has called for ‘clarity’ over the recent postponements to a number of Premier League matches, with no clear explanation having been given as of yet.
As fans, we are usually gearing ourselves up for a Christmas period littered with live football, and usually a number of upsets for some of the bigger clubs also.
This Christmas many of us may be forced to talk to other members of our families, or possibly even turn up to those Christmas jumper parties, with fixtures dropping like flies currently.
Arteta insists that his side would prefer to play out their matches assuming they are fit to do so however, but demands a clear stance from the division on what terms bring games into contention for postponement.
“We always want to play when we have the right conditions to do so, 100 per cent,” Arteta stated in his pre-match press conference (as stated on the club’s website) ahead of Newcastle. “But we have been here, on the other side of the table, when we had all the arguments in the world not to play a football match and we ended up playing it. That is what I am saying, we need clarity because [otherwise] the fairness of the competition can be altered and that wouldn’t be fair.”
He was then asked if he had any issue’s with his player’s mental health during these difficult times.
“Well, we’ve done a lot of work and we’ve tried to help our players and everyone involved in the club, but I think it’s a social thing. I think everybody is going through something that is unprecedented and we are all learning from it and we’re trying to normalise a situation that we’ve never been through before. That’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to help everybody in the best way that we can and live in the context that we’re living in today, that we have to live with this virus and probably for longer than we all expected.”
It certainly won’t be fair on some teams if they are allowed a less congested period, but as long as there is a clear line on why games are cancelled then there can be no issue.
Of course, not playing those games now will mean that they will have to be crammed into another space which will not favour anyone, although the one team that would likely suffer most by postponements would be Chelsea, who are not only still playing in Europe and both cup competitions, but will also jet off for the World Club Cup competition also.
The odd postponement for Arsenal could well be of benefit to us however, but we certainly shouldn’t be looking to bend the rules for time off, especially with our team currently in top form at present regardless.